Saturday, March 2, 2013

Anti-racist educator Tim Wise speaks at the University of San Francisco on Feb. 26, 2013

Tim Wise,is an anti-racist author, speaker and educator. Below is his latest talk. Wise is a dynamic speaker that shoots from a quick tongue, clever wit, and humble head.

Tim Wise speaks at the University of San Francisco on Feb. 26, 2013

An excerpt from the talk: Tim Wise responds to the rumor that he attacked the Catholic Church when speaking at Providence College.

"During the Q and A there was this really nice young woman who got up and asked a question and she started off. You know you’re in a college setting when someone starts a question like this. Well I think you’re being anthropologically reductionist. Cuz that’s that kind of ridiculous word casserole that we learn to use in college that we will never use again after were out of college, but we learn how to speak that way in college and then we deploy that at will to just demonstrate how intelligent we are, until get into the real world someone says alright, that makes you sound like a jackass, just stop.

But she said, I think you’re being anthropologic reductionist, and this is why. Because when you look out at this audience you see all these colors and I don’t even see that, I just see these wonderful human beings made in the image of God. And then she was relating it back to the Catholic mission of the school .Okay, so here’s the thing. This is an expression of color blindness and color muteness. It’s this idea that just even noticing someone’s racial identity -- just noticing that makes you in effect a racist, or in big word terms, anthropologic reductionist-- but fundamentally the same concept right? You’re the problem, you notice it, I don’t, I’m more enlightened than you.

My response to her is the same one I would give to anyone who said that kind of thing -- only well, it had a special answer because we were at a Catholic college where this image of God thing is especially relevant because, it’s like, hanging on every crucifix in the joint. And so I noted to her that if you want to say that we’re all made in the image of god that’s really sweet, meanwhile you have an image of God all over this campus that is lily white and anthropology bears no resemblance to the actual Jesus, so maybe we can start with that: which to say apparently means that you’re attacking the Catholic Church."

From his website:

Wise is the author of six books, including the highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son; an academic volume on affirmative action, entitled, Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White; an essay collection, entitled, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male; two books on race and racism in the Obama era, entitled respectively, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, and Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity; and his latest, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, which examines rising white anxiety in an increasingly multicultural nation. His next book, The Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future will be released in Fall, 2013.

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